ET’s weekly roundup of the wackiest whispers and murmurs in corporate corridors & policy parlours.

We Are Family
Who said PE bosses can’t be glamorous themselves or have glamorous friends? While he and his wife were in Mumbai, they were most certainly among the top five power IT couples in town. The babyfaced honcho continues to climb the corporate ladder and is in London with much bigger responsibilities and just recently was hosting KJo as the producer-director chose to enjoy the English autumn and also see their newborn. We wonder if Bollywood’s biggest fashion guru will also choose to be the baby’s godfather.

Old Is Gold

This FMCG family from Delhi seems to be on a tear when it comes to making strategic investments, either in their personal capacity or through investment vehicles. Cricket franchises in the Caribbean to snapping up an ailing battery brand from Kolkata, just last week they bought a super niche retail chain for senior citizens. Makes for a great business case but the sellers–also a family group–admit they could not run it profitably. We are wondering if old Kolkata connections helped cement the deal quickly?

Snap Out of it

The recent news of this high-profile tech boss exiting the India outpost of this Valley giant may have come as a surprise to most, but close associates say they felt something amiss for several weeks now. A workaholic, they had never seen him take such a spate of holidays–from jungle safaris to alpine adventures–which caused alarm bells to ring somewhere. A media veteran who worked even on political campaigns, his buddies say he has his heart in the right place and is all set to start afresh at another tech giant, much smaller in size, which also needs a serious reboot.

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Stitching Success

This was the first investment for the world’s largest fund in the country and it didn’t turn out too well. The sector in which neighbouring countries give India a serious run for our money, plus mismanagement–it turned out to be a recipe for disaster till one of the firm’s former co-heads decided to take it over and turn it around. It’s arguably a classic case study for all and just recently we heard one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds decided to buy into the company, picking up stock from the new promoters as well as from the market. Some second innings are indeed stellar.

Race With A Conscience

Last Friday, the capital city got a taste of what net-zero racing could be as the petroleum and tourism ministers inaugurated the Formula E cars that will zoom about in Hyderabad early next year. It’s part of a larger awareness campaign from one of the country’s biggest renewable companies that’s bringing the franchise to India. Parliamentarians mingled with teams from McLaren, Mercedes, Mahindra, Toyota and others who will all be racing. Last heard, even a most respected corporate group wants a share of the action and might come on board as a big sponsor. Ahead of the COP27 meeting, this was all about responsible speeding.

Coffee and Conversations

Getting Bangalored got a whole new meaning when the Starbucks cofounder was in the Garden City and chose to dig into masala dosa and filter coffee at a local institution during his recent visit to the state as part of the investment summit. The proud owner of the city’s iconic joint also got the guest book out for comments and feedback. We dig such a cool attitude. When the ‘third place’ becomes a popular local joint, you know our homegrown cafe culture is going strong.


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